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Iran was one of the few places where English woollens could be sold in quantity. It was also a source of very high quality raw silk and silk cloth. Both were considered superior to those from China.

The Company imported raw silk and a domestic silk weaving industry was started in England. Its weavers were increasingly unhappy about ready-made silk cloth being imported.

An Act was passed in 1699 prohibiting ‘the use or wearing of all silks...of the manufacture of Persia, China or East India’. But, apart from the austere Cromwellian era, demand for the fabric remained high.

  silk sample    
   

Samples of silk thread available in Iran 1697
G/29/1 f233
(click image to enlarge)

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